Category Archives: Westside


New Climate Means New Downtown/Westside Storage Unit in Vancouver

Moving to a climate that is different than what you are accustomed to puts a twist on relocation. You have to think about more than just moving, including preparing your family and belongings for weather that you are unfamiliar with. If you are moving to Vancouver and planning to get a storage unit, you will want to know what the weather will be like in each and every season – and be prepared for it – before you make your big move.

Modify Your Thinking

The first part of moving to a new place that has a completely different climate is realizing that the way of life you have been living life is bound to change. It will take you and your family time to get habituated to the new climate. Trading the rainy weather of Vancouver to move to the hot and dry climate of Arizona might sound great, but there will definitely be a period of adjustment. Your outdoor activities will change, as well.

Whether you are a skier, a runner, or a gardener, those things will be affected in one way or another when moving to a different climate. In order to acclimate to these changes, you will need to prepare yourself mentally for the changes in the weather. Gather a good idea of what type of weather you can expect where you are moving to so there will be no surprises.

Budget for New Clothing, Gear & Other Essentials

If you are moving to a place with heavy snow fall, you may find that you need a lot more than you did before. You will need snow boots, mittens, and scarves. You may find that you want to invest in a snow blower for your driveway or snow tires for your car. If you are coming towards the Vancouver area, you will realize that you need rain boots and an umbrella. You may also want to invest in a sump-pump that works better in your new home. Regardless of where you move, if the climate changes, you are probably going to need a new wardrobe.

Ask the Locals

During one of your trips to the new area you are moving to, take some time to chat with the locals about how they handle the weather. For example, those who have lived through the long, cold, snowy weather of New England can tell you what you will need to make it through a blustery winter. Of course, those in Vancouver are often prepared for the rain. Knowing this information in advance can help you adjust better to your new climate.

Stop By Our Downtown/Westside Storage Facility

You can also pop into Iron Gate Storage in Vancouver at our Downtown/Westside facility and we will enlighten you about our climate and the weather that you can expect. We are not just here to offer you a Vancouver storage unit; we are here to welcome you, too.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

Downsizing: How to Utilize Downtown/Westside Storage Units

One of the important factors in life that people have to take into consideration is their cost of living compared to their income. Income can decrease for so many reasons, and it often happens drastically. Before you downsize, however, consider how a Downtown/Westside storage space can help you hold onto your precious belongings.

Reasons that People Downsize

The head of household may become sick with a long-term illness or suffer a debilitating injury that will require depending on Social Security benefits for the rest of their life. Other times, downsizing has nothing to do with illness or injury. When people move to another state or city, they often realize that the cost of living varies tremendously from area to area and they have to move to a smaller place because the cost of living is higher.  

Storage Footage versus Home Square Footage

Nobody likes to have to make the decision to get rid of their belongings because they are downsizing to smaller living quarters. The great thing is, however, that not only do you not have to get rid of your favorite belongings. Your storage space will go further than your home space. For example, to store an entire bedroom or home office worth of furniture and items, you will usually only need to get a storage unit that is 5’x10’. In other words, your storage space will go much further than your home space, because you can pack things tightly, whereas, in your home, you would lay things out much further apart.

If you are moving from a four-bedroom house to a one-bedroom house, you might need a 10’x15’ storage space or larger, depending on how much furniture you need to store. If you are losing half of the square footage that you are normally accustomed to having, you may need one of our largest storage spaces, which is 10’x20’, to contain all of your excess personal belongings. Check out our easy-to-use size guide to find out what you will need for a storage space.

Which Items Should You Store?

Perhaps the most difficult decision to make at this point involves which items you should store. When you use self-storage, you can put things into your storage and take them out as you desire. For example, if you store your holiday and seasonal belongings, you can take a trip to the storage facility when a holiday or particular season is approaching and remove the things you want to use. Sentimental items that you would normally keep in a closet, the attic, the basement, or the garage can be also stored in your storage unit.
Ultimately, it is your choice what you should and should not pack away in your storage. Iron Gate Storage offers facilities that are safe, secure, and easily accessible for all of your storage needs. Contact Iron Gate Storage at our Downtown/Westside location today to find out more about our variety of storage options and how we can help you solve your small space problems.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

Benefits of Using A Vancouver Storage Facility for Your Business

If you own your own business, you know that you need space to keep things. Whether you need a place to keep extra products or a spot to store files and paperwork, a Vancouver storage unit is a great option. A storage place for your business extras clears up space in your office or garage, and is especially useful for those who are working from a home office.

Improved Organization

Your business is your livelihood. Don’t waste your valuable time with a disorganized office space. You can greatly increase your productivity when you improve your organization. If you have a small office or are running things alone, you know the importance of being able to find things when you need them. When files are no longer in use, you should still keep them, but they no longer need to be at your fingertips. Instead, pack them in well-marked boxes and put them in your storage unit for safekeeping.

Better Management

Your company can more easily be managed when you utilize a storage facility. If you have products that must be stored or shipped to customers, a storage unit is the best way to keep them safe and secure. You can create shipping labels and set a specific day of the week to come to your storage unit to remove products for shipment. You will be able to better manage your workload with the use of a storage unit.

Reclaim Your Home

If you’ve been working from your home, it is likely that your products have begun to take over your rooms. You can reclaim your spare room or garage for their intended uses while keeping your items properly maintained. You’ll still be able to keep your home office because you can’t work from a storage unit, but you can remove all of the excess items and clutter so you can keep your work-related items within their designated spaces.

Tax Deduction

Businesses that utilize storage units are generally able to itemize them as tax deductions. In order to qualify, you must ensure that your unit is used strictly for business items only. Keep copies of all your storage receipts, which can be easily viewed and printed online. If the storage unit is to be used for business purposes, be sure to include your business name on the paperwork or registration of the unit. Keep a list of items that are stored in your unit so you can prove that the use is for your business. It is best to check with your accountant or tax specialist to determine your exact deductions.
When you’re looking for a way to improve how your business can run, consider utilizing a storage unit with Iron Gate Storage at our Downtown/Westside location. We offer a variety of different sized units in our secure and convenient facility. Contact our office to learn more about our available units and pricing.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

Choosing the Right-Sized Vancouver Storage Unit

You’ve made the decision to rent a storage unit, but how do you know which size is best for your needs? There are guidelines available that provide you with general information, including a space calculator, but it can still be difficult to make those decisions. Here are some helpful tips for correctly sizing your unit.

Make a List

Start by making a list of all the items that you intend to store in your unit. It is helpful to walk through your home or garage so you include everything possible. Review the list with your family to make sure that it is complete. Once you have a comprehensive list of items for storage, you are ready to begin thinking about sizing your unit.

Lay it Out at Home

It can be difficult to picture the actual size of the storage units you are considering. You can create a simple outline in your home so you can look at it more effectively. Use painter’s tape on your floor in your home or garage to see what the size of the space looks like. You will be able to get a fairly comprehensive idea of what will and what won’t fit into the area once you have it laid out in front of you.

Consider Large Items

Large items, or those that are oddly shaped, are often the most difficult to store. They may take up more room than you think. When considering a unit, think about the entire size of the space, including the ceiling height. Sometimes you can turn an item on its side to make it more manageable in a storage unit. Don’t try to jam bulky items into the unit or you will end up having to remove them every time you need to get something out of storage.

Look at the Space

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it is helpful to view the units in-person before making a final choice. Seeing the space will give you a much better idea of how you can arrange your items and which will best fit your belongings. A storage specialist will show you the available units and answer any questions you may have.

Size Up

Most people end up finding more items to take to their storage unit than they first anticipated. If you have a unit that is too small, you won’t be able to store everything you need. When considering storage options, think about renting a unit that is slightly larger than what you need. The price is typically not that much more, and it will be much easier to organize and manage.

Review Storage Guidelines

Our website has important information that will help you properly size your unit. When viewing the options, keep in mind that some of the examples show packing the unit very full and stacking boxes and furniture. If you want more space to move around, always choose a unit that is slightly larger. Use the convenient size guide to assist you in choosing a storage solution to best fit your needs.

Visit Iron Gate Storage Today

Iron Gate Storage is your comprehensive storage solution for today’s busy lifestyle. Our facilities offer safe, secure, and easily accessible options for your every storage need. Call Iron Gate Storage in Vancouver today or stop by to see our excellent selection of storage options.  

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

3 Tips for Storing Your Clothes in Storage Units in Westside

Of all of the things you can store in storage units in Westside, one thing people forget is clothing. Yes, you can store antiques, collectibles, furniture, art, even vintage cars, but you can store clothes in Vancouver storage units, too.

Some people are afraid that clothing is too delicate to store in a storage unit in Westside. That is why today we are going to share three tips on how to store your clothes safely in Vancouver storage units.

Why Would Someone Store Clothes in a Vancouver Storage Unit?

Storage units are a great option for clothing. Some people need to store their clothes temporarily because they’re waiting to move. Others need a place to keep a deceased family member’s still-good clothes for a while until an estate or garage sale. Then there are those who buy and sell vintage clothing and use a storage unit as a warehouse.

3 Tips for Storing Your Clothes Safely in Storage Units in Westside

Whatever the reason for storing the garments, care must be taken. Clothes can be delicate and need proper care when being stored. Here are just three tips for storing clothes in a storage unit in Westside.

  1. Make sure the Vancouver storage unit is already clean. When you first check out storage units in Westside, make sure they’re clean. They should be free of dirt or leftovers from the last renter. If the unit looks clean – great! But don’t stop there. Dust, sweep or vacuum the unit before putting your clothes in, and make sure there are no signs of pests or mold.
  2. Thoroughly dry the clothes before storing. The surest way to ruin clothes is to attract mold and mildew. It’s a great idea to wash clothes before storing them in a Vancouver storage unit, but make sure you dry them thoroughly. Has the dryer run its full cycle? If so, feel the clothes and make sure there is no longer any dampness. Do you prefer to air dry? That’s a great idea, just make sure you get them in before the dew or fog starts to roll in.
  3. Add some silica gel. To really protect your clothes from mold and mildew damage, store them with little packets of silica gel. Ruth de Jauregui of the SF Gate points out that they absorb moisture to prevent the growth of molds and mildew.

Clothing: Just One of the Things You Can Store in Vancouver Storage Units

Of course, we know that Vancouver storage units can hold much more than clothes. These tips, too, can be applied to more than just clothes. Making sure the unit is clean and that there is no evidence of mold, mildew or pests is something everyone should check for when looking for a storage unit in Westside to rent.

We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our units in Westside. For more information, or to schedule a viewing, call or email us.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

Spring Cleaning: 4 Tips for Cleaning Your Storage Units in Westside

We all know how important it is to check for cleanliness when first searching for storage units in Westside. Did you know it’s equally important to make sure you deep clean you storage unit at least annually?

Not everyone is aware of that. Most think that all you need to do is rent the storage unit in Westside, make sure it looks fairly clean and that’s it. That is why we’re going to explain why it’s important to thoroughly clean your unit each year and show you how.

Why Once a Year Deep Cleaning Is Needed

There are certain areas of our house that we reserve for Spring Cleaning. Such a cleaning usually takes at least a full day, if not a full weekend and sometimes even longer. Why?

Generally, it’s a two-fold reason that includes “out of sight, out of mind” and a lack of attention for an entire year.

The same is true of Vancouver storage units. Most people rarely check on them, so they can definitely fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” category. And, if we do check on things during the year, we’re probably not going there to clean.

As with anything in our home, storage units can collect dust, critters and just get dirty. In order to protect your belongings it is imperative to set aside some time to deep clean your Vancouver storage unit.

4 Tips for Thoroughly Cleaning Your Storage Unit in Westside

Just what should you be on the lookout for when cleaning your storage unit in Westside? And how should you go about cleaning it? We will discuss four tips.

  1. Check for damp or damaged boxes. Moisture can do a lot of damage to your valuables. If you see any boxes that are damaged, appear broken down or feel damp to the touch, you should do some repackaging.
  2. Check for critter evidence. Look around the Vancouver storage unit from top to bottom. Are there spider webs, ants or rodent droppings? If so, let the facility manager know and see about traps and spraying a barrier around your unit to keep pests away.
  3. Sweep and dust. Take some time to sweep and dust the unit. Dust and dirt can attract critters and ruin certain fabrics and types of furniture. If you are storing equipment, check for oil leaks and clean those up. Check out this slide show for more info.
  4. Check the outside too. How does the unit look on the outside? If you notice any damage to the building itself, let the building manager know. Hopefully, they will address the issue. If not, it might be time to find a new storage unit in Westside.

The Cleanest Vancouver Storage Units

We pride ourselves not only on the safety of our units, but on the cleanliness as well. If you’re in the market for a Vancouver storage unit rental, give us a call. We welcome you to come out and see for yourself just how clean and tidy our units and facilities are.

Iron Gate Storage
2410 E 5th St
Vancouver, OR 98661
(360) 362-8080

Types of Packing Materials Available

Packing boxes for storage can be daunting if all you have to wrap things with is old newspapers. Newsprint often comes off onto the things it is wrapped around, and can be quite difficult to remove, especially from delicate items.

Wrapping and Packaging Materials Safeguard Your Things

There are many wrapping materials available at Downtown/Westside and other Vancouver storage facilities:

  1. Bubble wrap

The fancy name for it is “encapsulated air plastic sheeting,” but we know it as bubble wrap. It is the packing material many people love to use because when no one is looking, they can relieve their frustrations by popping the bubbles. It also wraps things well, protecting them from harm.

Bubble wrap is great for lightweight items because it can be cut to wrap almost any size and shape of item. Use the small cell bubble wrap (bubble wrap with small bubbles) to protectively wrap items, wrapping fragile things with more than one layer. The large cell bubble wrap is for cushioning.

Fragile items need to be at least two inches from each other, with bubble wrap in the spaces between items and in between layers of items. Use the large bubble wrap to cushion the sides and bottom of the box before beginning to pack the box.

  1. Kraft paper

Not quite as thick as most grocery store paper bags, Kraft paper makes a great filler for boxes with fragile things in them.

  1. Packing peanuts

These peanuts are not the crunchy kind from which peanut butter is made, but the packaging peanuts. While the standard for peanuts used to be Styrofoam, the newer peanuts are made of a biodegradable material. Styrofoam, while a terrific idea, takes over 500 years to degrade in a landfill, and is a problem for communities and the environment. Today’s biodegradable peanuts are made of static-free starch that decomposes in water with no toxic waste.

Vermiculite is sometimes used instead of peanuts for cushioning as it can be used afterward as a soil conditioner.

  1. Packing foam

Foam is generally made of polystyrene or polyurethane. It comes in rolls that can be cut or torn at perforations, and it is available in pouches. The polystyrene foam is best used when packing lighter items, while the polyurethane foam has more protective cushioning.

  1. Edge protectors

Edge protectors are made of various materials, and are used to protect the edges of furniture when it is being moved. They are also used to stabilize stacks of boxes.

You’ll be able to purchase a variety of packaging materials to meet your packing and storage needs at our Downtown/Westside or other Vancouver storage facilities.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

Can Firearms Be Stored?

The answer to the question of whether firearms can be stored in a Washington storage facility like Downtown/Westside or any other Vancouver storage facility ultimately lies with the facility itself. Many storage facilities allow unloaded guns to be kept in storage units, but they do not allow ammunition to be stored there.

How gun storage laws vary

There are 27 states that have child access provision laws. For instance, California’s Penal Code addresses storage of firearms with a first degree and a second degree offense description. Both criminal storage of firearm offenses refer to keeping a loaded firearm where a child can get to it and carry it or use it to cause death or either great bodily harm or injury. Neither offense applies when the firearm is either kept in a locked container or fixed with a locking device that does not allow it to be fired.

The State of Washington, however, does not have explicit child access provisions like California does. Nor does it specifically require safe storage of guns.

How to Store Firearms in Your Downtown/Westside Unit or Other Vancouver Storage Unit

The first rule of storing firearms in a storage facility is: always ask if they allow it. Some storage facilities do and some do not. After you find one that does allow you to store your firearms, you need to choose an indoor, climate-controlled unit. If you are storing other things in your unit, move your gun safe to a safe corner so you can easily access your other belongings.

Before moving your guns to your storage unit:

  1. Clean your guns thoroughly as dirt and other debris are often corrosive and will cause rust.
  2. Oil your guns to protect them from moisture, lubricating the gun and not the stock.
  3. Enclose your guns in a gun sock for a little added protection.
  4. Make sure the gun safe you use is just large enough to accommodate your guns, as a gun safe that is much larger may have a tendency to collect moisture.
  5. Liberally add silica desiccant packs to the bottom of the gun safe.
  6. Cover your gun safe with a tarp or large blankets when you are moving it into the storage unit or find some other way to disguise it.
  7. Get a disc lock for your unit. A disc lock looks like you would think: it’s a solid, metal circle. At the top of the circle is the opening where the shackle, or shank, forms an arc to cross from one side of the opening to the other. In the center is the keyhole and tumbler. This lock is ideal for securing a storage unit because it’s hard to remove without a key. The disc lock’s design makes it difficult to maneuver bolt cutters to cut the shackle. Hammers and lock picks don’t work on them, either. Any other removal method is noisy, expensive, time consuming or a combination of the three.

The manager at Downtown/Westside or any of our other Vancouver facilities can help with other suggestions for securing your firearms or other storage unit items.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

How to Pack Boxes to Store Household Goods

Whether packing to move, or just packing up things to store them to get them out of the way, there are a few things that can make your packing job easier. Once you have everything packed up, you will be ready to store it in a storage unit in Downtown/Westside or one of the other wonderful Vancouver storage units.

Tips on packing

  1. 50 pound limit

When you are getting ready to pack things up, it is a good idea to sort them out so that similar items are packed with other items. A very handy rule of thumb is to pack all boxes so as not to exceed 50 pounds. This way all of your boxes will weight the same and be easy to handle when moving them.

When packing heavier things like books, canned goods, and the heavier pots and pans, use smaller boxes so that you can be assured that you will not exceed 50 pounds. Pack your lighter things in progressively larger boxes, not to exceed 50 pounds. Regardless of who is moving the boxes, they will be grateful for the weight limit as their backs and leg muscles will not be strained picking up heavier boxes.

  1. Toolbox

Wait until the very last to pack your tool box, as there are many things you will need it for.

  1. Disassemble whatever can be disassembled

Take apart any furniture that can be taken apart. Remove legs from tables, the headboard, railings and footboard from the box spring support, and take the box spring support apart. Put any screws and washers into zippered baggies and either tape them to the piece of furniture from which they were removed or label them and put all baggies in one box.

Dressers can be moved with the clothing in the drawers unless you will need to store the dresser for a period of time. If this is the case, remove the clothing and the drawers, making the dresser easier to move.

  1. Remote controls

Nowadays, many appliances and electronics have remote controls. Put all remote controls in one box and label it so you can easily find them later.

  1. Things NOT to pack

Be sure to keep your checkbook, credit cards, passport, driver’s license, birth certificates for all family members, and any other important papers out. Put them in a lock box in the bank or keep them with you at all times during your move.

  1. Fragile things

Wrap fragile items individually with bubble wrap or foam wrap and tape them. If you have any doubt about an item’s safety, double wrap it, first with foam wrap and then with bubble wrap. Do not use newspaper as the ink comes off on anything it touches, and can ruin lampshades, porous items an items with a rough finish.

Put a sheet of bubble wrap in the bottom of the box and up all four interior sides. Then gently put a layer of items in the box. Cover them with a layer of bubble wrap, and then do the next layer. Continue until you have filled the box. Small items can use a piece of brightly colored tape on them so you know something is inside the bubble wrap and it is not just extra packing. Fill in any holes with extra bubble warp, and tape the box tightly closed, marking ‘Fragile’ on the outside on all sides and the top.

You can safely store your more fragile items on one of the higher level of stacked boxes in your storage unit in Downtown/Westside or Vancouver storage unit.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

How Storage Units Help When You Put Your House up for Sale

While the term ‘clutter’ usually implies a big mess, especially according to its definition, it actually can mean just too much stuff, no matter how neat the stuff may be. Clutter happens, and it happens to all of us at some point in time. We acquire things, people give us things, and before long, we have a lot of things on display in our homes.

Oftentimes we do not even realize we are living in clutter and that it actually impacts us negatively both physically and mentally until one day we look around and feel our possessions overwhelming us to a certain degree. Excess things (clutter) in our environment can and often does have a negative effect on our ability to focus our attention and to process the information that we take in.

In a research study, a group of neuroscientists at Princeton University determined that a cluttered environment competes for our attention, causing us to have a decreased ability to perform basic tasks and an increase in our stress levels. Additionally, UCLA researchers found that physical clutter overloads our senses, causes stress, and weakens our ability to do creative thinking.

When it comes time to get your house ready to be shown so you can sell it, clutter becomes a very important factor to deal with. We want prospective buyers to be able to see their things in our house. We want them to not be distracted by clutter, but to be able to focus on the good points of our house.

A storage unit in Downtown/Westside is the answer to decluttering your house

Here is what realtors recommend as steps needed to show your house to its best advantage by removing the clutter:

  1. Remove and pack up all photographs, plaques, and other personal decorations from walls, shelves, and furniture.
  2. Pack away all knick knacks and other personal decorating touches that can distract buyers.
  3. Go to your front door, go outside, and then walk back in as if you were a buyer. View the furniture in each room as if you were redecorating it. What would you get rid of? What would you keep? Buyers are turned off by rooms that have too much furniture in them, and a whole new profession called stagers has evolved to put furniture in houses that are vacant. You want your house to be in that delicate area of having not too much and not too little furniture in it.
  4. In the kitchen, pack away and store all but essentials in your pantry and cabinets. It is easier for a buyer to envision his or her things in cabinets that are partially empty than in cabinets that are stuffed with things. Remove all but essential daily use appliances from counter tops and pack them away
  5. Bathrooms need to be treated the same as kitchens. Leave the necessaries, but pack away the extras.
  6. Pack away clothing that is out of season and store it.

Once you have packed all of these things, bring then to your storage unit in Downtown/Westside or one of our other Vancouver storage units and we will keep them safe while you sell your house.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200